Small scratches impact on image quality

How concerned should I be with small marks (I don't know if it's just a defect or small scratch or some residue from cleaning, etc.) on my lens?

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Dust or small scratches on the front element are not too serious. Unless light is hitting the dust particle or scratch directly, you probably not notice it. On the back element, you should be a bit more careful as it could affect image quality more.

When it is necessary to clean a lens, following this procedure:

  1. Blow off the dust and grit with soft hair brush (e.g. back of a Lens Pen or a Rocket Blower.
  2. Wipe fingerprints off with a Lens Pen.
  3. For more stubborn smudges, use a drop of lens cleaner on a clean microfiber cloth.

To see too what extent front element scratches impact image quality, take a look at this story in the LensRentals.com blog.

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